Someone called me a ‘career coach’ the other day. When I asked them what that phrase meant to them. Their response surprised me. “Well you’ve obviously been a coach your whole career - not someone who’s had a different main career, then chosen to move into Coaching.
And they were right, I have.
It started with my folks. - they bought me up with the values to ‘embrace life and love living it’, and to ‘be a nice person, kind and caring for others’. I used to walk the school corridors, confident, head up, getting involved in the 'peopley things' like the school concert band, netball team etc. I was a solid C grade student but I loved school and being a good friend.
My first job after Uni was ‘double glazing sales rep (😶 I know - I was skint). And from month one onwards I was the top selling rep in East Anglia because I was genuinely interested in the people I was meeting – I loved meeting people, the conversations and getting to know them. I just happened to be selling double glazing. I was successful because customers bought ‘me’.
...But wasn’t everyone this way? Interested in people? Turns out ...not so much. I learnt my first lessons about people during that time.
My interest in people over ‘selling’ took me away from sales and into the ‘People and Leadership Development’ world, and to discovering Dale Carnegie (Author of ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’). DC trained me as a facilitator and people developer, and I realised that DCs principles lived and breathed within me already.
...I am genuinely interested in helping others be their best. I’m driven to serve others, helping them succeed through their own drive and motivation.
(p.s. have a read. It's written in the 1930s and to this day is a great book if you want to be an engaging leader of people)
A turning point - My fabulous older brother, Andrew died from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 5 days after my 29th birthday. That was the moment I started listening to myself, recognising my skills and my interests. I chose to focus my career - a Full 3 years Masters Degree (MSc) in Executive, Corporate and Personal Coaching. One of the toughest, skills based, evidence based, transformational things I’ve ever done. Not long after starting my tutor stated: “I have never seen someone build rapport so naturally, and have such flexibility with other people as you do."
...Really? Didn’t all Coaches have this ability with people?
NLP came along after which introduced me to ‘excellence in thinking and communication’ and how to unlock change in people. NLP is a change tool focusing on unblocking and unlocking beliefs emotions, behaviours and energies that limit us - moving us toward our best. My ‘other-centred’ approach meant I could use it for other people’s good - to help them transform themselves towards creating and living their best life.
I took my skills into the business world working for the UK’s leading Employee Engagement and Internal Comms agency. Here a large jigsaw piece slotted in. I have always loved business, and the potential of it when people are thriving. I also found it a shame that people didn’t show up to work happy - perhaps not treating others as well as they could, And many didn’t serve themselves well either. I realised that my coaching and transformation skills could unlock the ability for Leaders to thrive. I also realised that I could train my skills to People Managers so that they could help their people thrive. I trained and coached thousands of people during my time with the agency and I saw the difference that I made.
...I realised that I was making the difference that I’d always wanted to... And I have done ever since.
So how did I get to today? By becoming self-aware, by tuning in and listening to myself, by culturing natrual skills and developing more that align and complement, over time. Then backing myself!
Today I am living true to those values my folks gave me - ‘embrace life and love living it’, and to ‘be a nice person - kind and caring for others’.
I’m proud to be living that, and the lesson of self-love that my brothers passing taught me - serving myself so I can serve others - helping them to be their best.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Nx